Is there a Rhythm of the Rain? An analysis of weather in popular music

Sally Brown*, Karen L. Aplin, Katie Jenkins, Sarah Mander, Claire Walsh, Paul D. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle (Specialist Publication)

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Weather is frequently used in music to frame events and emotions, yet quantitative analyses are rare. From a collated base set of 759 weather-related songs, 419 were analysed based on listings from a karaoke database. This article analyses the 20 weather types described, frequency of occurrence, genre, keys, mimicry, lyrics and songwriters. Vocals were the principal means of communicating weather: sunshine was the most common, followed by rain, with weather depictions linked to the emotions of the song. Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the most weather-related songs, partly following their experiences at the time of writing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages198-204
Number of pages7
Volume70
No.7
Specialist publicationWeather
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • keys
  • lyrics
  • Music
  • rain
  • songs
  • sun
  • weather

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